Floor 1, Room 12 (Ptolemaic Period)

The Ptolemaic Period

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Following Alexander the Great’s conquest in 332BC, Egypt became part of the great Hellenistic empire forged by the king of Macedonia. After his death the empire was divided up amongst his generals.

One of them Ptolemy, son of Lagos, proclaimed himself king in 306BC, and thus started the 300 year rule of the Ptolemies who ruled until the death of Queen Cleopatra.

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Left above is the Statue of a Ptolemaic King in Regalia, Ptolemaic Period (332 – 3Turin Nov 2015 11160BC) Tebtynis, Temple of Soknebtynis.

Right is a High relief of Isis , white marble, with bovine crown and Termuthis, both depicted as snakes. Ptolemaic – Roman Period (332BC – AD395)

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Below situated left, is the statue of Ptolemy II as a Pharaoh, Greywacke, Ptolemaic Period during the reign of Ptolemy II (284 – 246BC). Right statue is the Head of Ptolemy II as a Hellenistic King, Granodiorite, Ptolemaic Period during the reign of Ptolemy II (284 – 246BC)

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The Sarcophagus of Shepmin

Lid of the sarcophagus of the royal scribe Shepmin, Basalt, Ptolemaic Period (4th century BC), Thebes, Khokha Tomb of Djehutymes.

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Cartonnage

Mummies are often covered by masks and protective elements made of cartonnage, a low-cost material used to replace wood. Made from layers of linen and papyrus soaked in a natural glue and gypsum. Below is a fragment of a mummy decorated with a mummification scene.

In the capital, the tombs of the rich were catacombs and hypogea (underground tombs) with several rooms and many burial niches, graced with paintings in a mixed Egyptian-Greek style.

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Religious traditions

The Ptolemaic kings were well disposed towards the cults of Upper Egypt and restored and expanded many temples. Religious rituals continued but Egyptian Gods were merged with Greek ones.

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